An Ahemdabad court Wednesday issued a bailable warrant against Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) in a defamation case.
Ahmedabad Metropolitan Magistrate RG Chaudhary issued the warrant as Patkar and her advocate failed to appear before the court though they were given four opportunities.
The court directed the police of Badwani in Madhya Pradesh, Patkar's base, to arrest her and bring her before the court on Feb 27.
The case was filed by Ahmedabad-based National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL) president VK Saxena, who has been running a campaign against the NBA leader.
Patkar in an interview to a TV channel in April 2006 reportedly said: "Mr. Saxena is getting civil contracts from Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSNL, the agency executing the Narmada dam project). I am ready to prove this any time."
Saxena, also appearing on the same TV channel, denied the allegation and challenged her to provide evidence. He also sent her a legal notice April 29, 2006. Patkar, however, failed to provide any evidence, Saxena has said.
Saxena filed the defamation suit against Patkar on June 29, 2006.
The court directed the police to investigate the case.
The SSNL in a letter to police said: "Saxena neither in his personal capacity nor as president of the NCCL ever applied to the Nigam for award of any civil contract or for any supply contract in the past nor the Nigam has ever given civil or any other contract to him or to his NGO."
The police submitted a report to the court and said that even after she was given opportunities, Patkar did not come to Ahmedabad to record her statement.
The court found a prima facie case against Patkar and summoned her Aug 14, 2008.